Activity Introduction

cc-secondary9-heroQuick summary: During this lesson students investigate how biodiversity in their school yard will be affected by climate change. They begin by identifying aspects of biodiversity in their school yard, and then undertake research to identify the causes and impacts of climate change, particularly in regards to biodiversity. Finally, students create an interactive walk through their school yard that describes how various aspects of biodiversity in their school yard might be affected by climate change.

This lesson is designed to be taught outside. It contains all the tools required for students to reap the benefits of being outdoors while learning the outcomes of the Australian Curriculum. By spending time outdoors and connecting to nature, students are more likely to care for and conserve nature as adults.


Learning goals:

  • Students recognise some of the causes and impacts of climate change, particularly the impacts on biodiversity in Australia.
  • Students understand how to communicate messages about the impacts of climate change in different ways.
  • Students recognise the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside.

21st century skills:

climate change school yard skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 10 Science

  • Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189)

Syllabus outcomes: SC5-12ES.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1., OI.2., OI.7.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Science achievement standards: Students describe and analyse interactions and cycles within and between Earth’s spheres.

Topic: Outdoor Learning, Climate Change, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.

Time required: 120-180 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity and lead discussions.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Computers/tablets for pairs of students to share.

Each student will also need:

  • A map of the school grounds that they can write on (photocopies or maps printed from Google Maps are fine)
  • Pens for writing on maps
  • Device for taking photos (phone, tablet, camera, etc)
  • Workbook to record notes

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Climate change, biodiversity, school yard, interactive walk, outdoor learning.

Cool Australia would like to thank The Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees.

Youngman Trust Logo

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

cc-secondary6-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students recognise some of the causes and impacts of climate change, particularly the impacts on biodiversity in Australia. They also recognise that there are a variety of ways to communicate messages about the impacts of climate change to members of their school community.

Outdoor learning information:

Outdoor Learning Series:


To help guide teachers through suggested activities in this lesson, we have developed a series of icons designed to show what types of activities are involved and where these activities may take place (see Learning Activity Key below).

learning activity icons key updated-v3

This lesson is designed to support students and teachers undertaking the Outdoor Learning Unit. Click here to view the Unit Outline.

Teacher content information: Climate chang

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Will the climate stop changing?

Exploring the impacts of climate change on biodiversity in your region

Use the website Climate Change in Australia to find out how climate change might affect biodiversity in your region. Record your answers to the following questions.

NOTE: You will not find the EXACT answers to your questions - the aim of this exercise is for you to use your knowledge of climate change to think about how it MIGHT affect biodiversity.

Another useful website for this activity is Nova - Climate Change and Biodiversity.

Which region do you belong to?

What would you consider to be the two most significant impacts of climate change in your region?



Describe how you would expect these impacts to affect biodiversity:



Creating an interactive walk

You will now work in groups or as a class (check with your teacher) to create an interactive walk in your school yard to share what you know about how climate change will affect various asp

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